Deciding how to go about finding a nanny requires parents to strike their own right balance between time, effort, and cost. Using an agency will typically be a more expensive way of searching, but will mean there are professionals to take the lead. These professionals will spend the time and effort needed to present only the most suitable nannies to a family for consideration. Searching for a nanny without an agency will save money, but will require parents to put in more effort. This can absolutely be worth it though.
My perspective as a nanny
As a nanny, I have sometimes used agencies (especially for a lot of my temp work, as they can find me the jobs and ensure that the working arrangement is legal). But the majority of my roles have been found using online sites or word of mouth. Interviews and negotiations for these positions have then been directly with the families, which I’ve really liked.
When parents create their own job ad, this typically gives it a more personal touch. The content and way it is written give hints about the family beyond the basics. A family’s personality tends to shine through, showing me their values and priorities. Likewise, my response to these ads is usually more personal and tailored to the family. One of the most important things for me is finding the right fit. Having complementary personalities, shared values, and a role where I am able to meet the needs of the children. These are some of the most important things I look for when starting a new job.
My thoughts for parents
A benefit of seeing the full spectrum of interested nanny applicants, is that you will continue to refine what you are and are not wanting in a nanny. You’ll discover ways to express your needs and values more clearly. This might lead to adjusting your ad and/or what you say to applicants throughout the screening process. These adjustments will bring you closer to your ultimate goal of finding a nanny who is a wonderful fit with your family. One who can meet your needs, and who can bring the energy and skills needed in the role.
Many nannies (including myself) are registered with several agencies, in addition to searching for work in other ways. But if a job ad is posted by an agency that a nanny is not already registered with, it can be a deterrent to need to go through the agency’s registration process before speaking with a family… even if the ad sounds promising. By advertising directly to nannies, this removes the possibility you might miss those candidates. You may also reach a different group of nannies by advertising on platforms than agencies do not use.
The bottom line
Finding a nanny definitely takes work. By eliminating the ‘middleman’, you will need to field all the applications you get from nannies in response to your ad. But, once you hear from a promising applicant, you can move forward right away by reaching out to them. Things can move more quickly this way. By putting in the time and effort to advertise and screen the nannies, rather than using an agency, you could also save money on a lot of the extra costs associated with finding a nanny. This could mean your overall spending is less. And/or it may mean you are able to offer a top quality nanny a higher rate.
What can parents do
Luckily for parents, Lauren at Nanager has come up with Find Your Own Nanny. This means parents now have options. As a parent, you can decide how you want to go about your nanny search (and how much you want to spend). Would you prefer to do more of the work yourself and spend significantly less money to find your nanny? Find Your Own Nanny guides parents through the steps of advertising for, interviewing, and hiring a nanny. Aside from giving you step-by-step guidance, Lauren at Nanager is also available if you need extra help along the way. Having access to professional guidance, but putting in the effort to have more autonomy in your own search, could just be the right balance you’ve been looking for.